My interest in developing this book can be traced to an observation I first made during the course of my doctoral studies at Michigan State University when I was reviewing the literature on imported TV effects. I found out that most writers, including those of books, articles, and conference papers, assumed that imported TV programs have a strong cultural influence on local viewers. However, when sorting articles according to their method of inquiry, I could only find a very few empirical studies about this topic. Where was the systematic evidence that being relied on for assuming strong influence? I figured that the evidence must have been profuse as the writers were so confident in their contentions of strong influence. I was determined to find it. The more searched, the disappointed became. As a student of both international communication and empirical methods inquiry, I could not believe that there were only very few empirical studies about this topic. Over time, I collected both published and unpublished manuscripts that followed an empirical approach. This effort eventually led me to prepare the first meta-analytic effort in this subject area, the earliest outcome of which was a paper presented during the Speech Communication Association (now National Communication Association) conference in 1993. A later version of this meta-analysis (co-authored with John Hunter) was published in Communication Yearbook 1997 and is reprinted in this book.
My effort to understand the process and effect of crossborder television gave me the opportunity to meet several empirical researchers with similar interests. Some of these researchers had active programs of study in this area and had conducted seminal investigations about this topic long before my interest in it had ever transpired. Others were my contemporaries. Without knowing it, we were all independently examining the same questions using similar methods.
This book brings together the works of multiple researchers in an effort to shed some light on the premise of strong and homogenous international television ef-